EPUB3 and HTML5 open standards enable interactive children’s and educational titles for reader engagement


CLEVELAND—JANUARY 21, 2014—As thousands of librarians convene in Philadelphia this weekend, OverDrive, the global leader in digital content for libraries and schools, will demonstrate interactive children’s eBooks with dozens of “app-like” features based on industry-standard EPUB3 and other formats. In OverDrive booth #1723 at the ALA Midwinter Conference, January 24-27 in Philadelphia, enhanced eBook editions of children’s classics, picture books, adult and YA titles will be demonstrated using OverDrive Read without the need to first install an app or activate any new software.

New enhanced eBook features coming soon include:

  • Synchronized Audiobooks and Text: Readers and students can select “Start Reading” to launch audiobook playback synchronized to each line or word in the eBook, which is highlighted as it is read. Synchronized eBook and audio titles provide access to the professionally recorded voice of the author or narrator as if the eBook and audiobook were published together.
  • Interactive Pages: OverDrive will also demonstrate test and quiz applications with real-time grading and answers. Other enhancements will demonstrate how games and learning interactions can motivate, instruct and reward readers as they progress through the pages of an educational title.
  • Fixed Layout Titles: Picture books and highly-stylized eBooks that deliver “true to print” presentations to readers for children’s titles as well for school titles with graphs and charts will be on display by OverDrive.
  • Multimedia: To support video, animations and sound embedded or linked from OverDrive-supported eBooks, the company is creating a series of “best practices” for immersive experiences for digital readers that ensure compatibility with OverDrive apps and reading products.

“Our investment in HTML5, EPUB3 fixed layout and media overlays using SMIL documents will enable publishers, libraries and schools to serve readers with enhanced reading abilities on the widest range of devices,” said David Burleigh, Director of Marketing at OverDrive. “We are excited to be working with leading trade, educational and children’s publishers to reach our worldwide network of booksellers and institutions with enhanced and interactive eBooks.”

In addition to enhanced eBooks, recently launched platform features designed to appeal to library patrons of all ages, nationalities and interest levels are now available, including the OverDrive Media Station, kids’ eReading Room, multilingual user interfaces, multilingual eBooks, and OverDrive Streaming Video. These new features will also be demonstrated at ALA Midwinter Conference.

OverDrive’s Developer Portal (http://developer.overdrive.com) offers a highly-rated suite of APIs that support ReadersFirst principles and create a variety of seamless library user experiences. Libraries and schools are integrating OverDrive digital collections with their ILS, OPAC, search, and mobile platforms that enable browsing, holds and checkouts all from the library’s or school’s website or app.

Currently, OverDrive partners with 28,000 libraries and schools worldwide to reach digital readers through a comprehensive, streamlined system. Through OverDrive’s support of all major devices, extensive catalog of 1.8 million titles from all major publishers and constant innovation, libraries and schools can reach more of their community and give readers what they want, all in one place.

To see these features and more in action, visit OverDrive at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia January 24-27 in booth #1723.


About OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks and digital audiobooks. We supply a secure lending platform for 28,000 retailers, libraries and schools worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® (U.S. only). Recent enhancements to OverDrive’s platform include multilingual user interface support, Streaming Video, in-library touchscreen services for browsing and instant sampling of eBooks or audiobooks, and OverDrive Read, the company’s EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience.

OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry five years in a row, and is a member of the 2012 Technology Fast 500. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland. www.overdrive.com.



David Burleigh

Director of Marketing

OverDrive, Inc.

216-573-6886 x218